The UN-HABITAT Urban Youth Fund will this year provide one million dollars to projects led by young people aged 15-32 years who are piloting innovative approaches to employment, good urban governance, shelter and secure tenure
Under the Fund's rules small development initiatives are eligible for grants up to $25,000.
Of the one billion slum dwellers in the world today, it is estimated that more than 70% are under the age of 30. These young people have few resources available to improve their own living environments. There are many youth-led initiatives in slums and squatter settlements around the world that require support in their efforts to transform their communities.
UN-HABITAT invites young people based in cities or towns from the developing world to apply for grants from the fund. Applications open on February 15th 2012 and the deadline for applications is April 15th 2012. More information and details are available at
This initiative sprang from the 21st session of the UN-HABITAT Governing Council in 2007 and has so far awarded grants to 172 projects led by young people from all over the world.
Many of the project ideas have been aimed at alleviating poverty, improving employment opportunities, improving the environment and increasing youth participation in decision-making. The fund promotes the poverty-reduction aims of the Millennium Development Goals, and the Habitat Agenda for better, more sustainable and equitable towns and cities throughout the developing world.
In his message for International Youth Day 2011, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated that "far too many of the world's more than one billion young people lack the education, freedom and opportunities they deserve. Yet despite these constraints – and in some cases because of them – young people are mobilizing in growing numbers to build a better future. The international community must continue to work together to expand the horizons of opportunity for these young women and men and answer their legitimate demands for dignity, development and decent work."